Ana Turns  


The new novel by the acclaimed author of Louisa Meets Bear and The Peacock Feast
Arriving November 7, 2023  

A kaleidoscopic story, unspooling over the twenty-four hours of a very contemporary woman’s sixtieth birthday. Nine years have passed since Ana Koehl had sex with her pot-addicted anesthesiologist husband, seven since she began an affair with a gonzo journalist. She’s gratified by her work as a book doula, but burdened by her belief that she need always be on call. Her elderly mother’s birthday greeting is an inflation-adjusted calculation of the cost of raising Ana in a mice-infested house, her brother has hijacked the will of their recently deceased starchitect father, her adult child is changing rapidly before her eyes, and her best friend advocates for “the truth in lies.” Gazing out at the dark moat of Central Park from behind her desk, Ana sees that she can no longer postpone making peace with her past or confronting her present. Narrated by Ana and the key figures in her life–her husband, her brother, her lover’s wife, to name a few–Ana Turns spirals through issues from capital punishment to the dynamiting of the Bamiyan Buddhas, culminating in a watershed dinner party, with Ana’s family members’ true colors on full display. By day’s end, the bounds of her own collaboration and forgiveness illuminated, Ana turns towards a vision of what she wants next in this blink of a life.

Praise & Reviews

“With each glorious, hilarious page I found myself turning with Ana, one of the most original creations I’ve seen in a while and, to steal from Lermontov, truly A Heroine of Our Time.”
—Gary Shteyngart, author of Our Country Friends

“I fell in love with Ana, a modern-day Mrs. Dalloway crisscrossing New York City to discover the unexpected truths about her life, lovers and impossible family. An exquisitely written love letter to what it means to be a grown-up woman.”
—Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

“This moving portrait of a woman assessing the friendships, romances, and family relationships that have shaped her sixty years contains a wealth of keen insight and just the right touch of delightful humor.”
—Sigrid Nunez, author of What Are You Going Through

“Lisa Gornick’s Ana Turns is a beautifully written and propulsive novel of desire and longing, regret and forgiveness. Ana is my favorite kind of character–deeply perceptive, surprisingly funny, and smart as hell. I loved this novel.”
—Angie Kim, author of Miracle Creek

“It’s a great feat to capture a whole life through the lens of a single day. Lisa Gornick’s Ana Turns does this beautifully in a series of vivid encounters with both the present and the past on the momentous occasion of her sixtieth birthday. It’s exciting to watch Ana risk revealing her true feelings and to ultimately discover what she wants and deserves. But this isn’t only an internal story. The novel sweeps through history and travels all over the world to show the influences Ana is bringing with her into each moment, alone or with others. Ana Turns is a powerful story of a woman coming into her own.”
—Alice Elliott Dark, author of Fellowship Point